Stoke was high among The RIDGE Crew as we prepared to depart for Golden, Canada where we would ice climb for three days. As soon as we arrived, we knew we were in for a good time! The wonderful bed and breakfast we stayed at was full of first-class amenities: a hot tub, sauna, and wonderful hosts who baked various treats for us throughout our stay. Our guide, Andrew, arrived a few hours after us, and the trip was on.
“I’m so excited for today,” said student/athlete Chase Taylor as we threw our stuff in the van to drive an hour away to the pristine ice walls that are abundant in Canada. We arrived, put on our crampons, helmet, and packs and hiked forty-five minutes to get to our destination: a 100-foot ice wall where we would set up four different routes to attempt.
I stepped up to the face of the wall, tied my double-figure eight knot that would secure me in my harness and threw my axe into the ice. The climb was slow and arduous, but I distinctly recall looking down at all of my peers and coaches standing below me shouting encouragement and thinking how proud of myself I am. Months ago, if someone had told me I would be hanging from a 100-foot ice wall-with only crampons, a pair of ice axes, and a harness to secure me-I would have thought them crazy.
At nights, we would chill around the large dining room table, discuss events from that day, eat delicious food, and laugh loudly. We would then hit the hot tub or play card games until bedtime.
Looking back, I can say with confidence that the ice climbing trip to Golden was a highlight of my RIDGE experience and definitely changed my opinion on climbing in general for the better!